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How Many 747 Classics Are Still Flying Around?  
User currently offlineSASMD82 From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 798 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 16302 times:

I just read the topic about the retirment of N748SA (B747-200 F) of Southern Air. Most B747-400 pax operators are about to replace their fleets with either A380s / B748 or B77Ws or convert them to cargo planes. With so many possible B747-400s available in the next couple of years, it is still feasible and profitable to operate B747 Classics? I think this has already been discussed in the past but how many Boeing 747-100/200/300s are still flying around? I think the last 'Classic' was delivered in 1992, how many more years have they still left?

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebmibaby737 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 1835 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15959 times:

I believe about 150 classics are still active, over 100 of these are the -200

User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3757 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 15772 times:

Atlas Air, Evergreeen International, Kalitta Air and Southern Air are four US airlines that still use 747 classics. There is a new cargo airline name MIDEX, that bought Martinair's 742F and recently bought two ex Air France 742F, and plan on buying some more 747 200F. I also believe SV still operates a few 743s and Fry's Electronic and The Sands Hotel each has a V.I.P. 747 SP.

User currently offlinesteve6666 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 428 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 15664 times:

Doesn't Transaero still fly a couple of pax -200s?

I'm positive there was at least one there at DME in April.

And surely Iran Air still has their's too?



eu nasci ha dez mil anos atras, e nao tem nada nesse mundo que eu nao saiba demais
User currently offlineSASMD82 From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 798 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15331 times:

I think El Al has some old birds too. I always enjoy the screaming JT9 and GE50 engines on take off and taxiing! What about you guys?

User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8625 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15272 times:
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Quoting steve6666 (Reply 3):

Doesn't Transaero still fly a couple of pax -200s?

I think that they still have 3 or 4 ex NZ -219s, but I am pretty sure that they have been retired from pax service. There was talk about converting them to freighters , but of NZs 5 219s 3 were of 1981 build and 2 from 1982 so I am doubtful it would be economical to do a freight conversion ( I can't believe that NZ's first 747's were delivered 30 years ago, I feel    )



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlinezainmax From Pakistan, joined Jul 2009, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15218 times:

PK still has one B742 Combi converted in pax config.
Beside this PK also has fleet of five B743.



ZAINMAX APPRENTICE MECHANIC - PIA
User currently offlineairtran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3707 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15112 times:
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Air Atlanta, Saudi Airlines, Air Bridge Cargo, Orient Thai, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Jett8 are a few that still operate classics that I can think of off the top of my head.


Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9210 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 12782 times:

Orient Thai is one of them. Do they fly long haul?

Is Phuket Air still around?


User currently offlineSFO2SVO From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 12374 times:

Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 5):
I think that they still have 3 or 4 ex NZ -219s, but I am pretty sure that they have been retired from pax service

There are photos of -219 in the DB as late as June, I doubt they will be retired in the middle of tourist season.
UN also has some -300s. Rare bird...

I think Mahan Air also still has -300s



318-19-20-21 332 343 717 727 737-234578 743-4 752 763 772 D9/10 M11/8x/90 F70 RJ85 ATR72 SF340 E120 TU34/54 IL18/62/86/9
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 12352 times:

Love those classics !


Lets hope they are around for a long time.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinea300 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 476 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 11209 times:
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Iran Air: -100B, -200, -SP (I have flown on all of their 100 and 200s and one of the SPs)

Mahan Air: -300

Iran Air Force: -100BSF, -200,- 200F. IRIAF's 100s are the oldest 747s still flying, as I recall. The 100s are ex-TWA that have been converted to freighter/tanker status back in the 1970s. The 200 is an ex-Iraqi Airways ship that was in storage for over 15 years before being restored to airworthy status! The 200Fs were all delivered new from Boeing. I think one is still in flying condition.



Boland Aseman Jayegah Man Ast.
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 11152 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 2):
The Sands Hotel each has a V.I.P. 747 SP.

The Sands actually has 2 74S's, I was lucky to catch them both the other day. NASA also still has one SP and 2 741's.

FX1816


User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2981 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (3 years 5 months 1 week ago) and read 10926 times:

Quoting FX1816 (Reply 12):
NASA also still has one SP and 2 741's.

The NASA SP just flew a 10 hour hop last night:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA747



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3047 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 10856 times:

Not long ago, when I would check flightaware in the AM, I could see the Kalitta 747-100 freighter enroute from LAX to Hawaii. I've noticed that it is now a 742 when it flies. Have not seen an airborne 741 listed on flightaware since...


Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently onlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2981 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10750 times:

Quoting 4holer (Reply 14):
Not long ago, when I would check flightaware in the AM, I could see the Kalitta 747-100 freighter enroute from LAX to Hawaii. I've noticed that it is now a 742 when it flies. Have not seen an airborne 741 listed on flightaware since...

Noticed that too. Used to be 2 round trips daily, but that's nearly 20 hours a day. Fairly heavy use. Must have poured the hours on till the next heavy check.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4409 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10471 times:

Airbridge Cargo comes into FRA with 742, 743 and 744 Freighters every day

User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10210 times:
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Quoting SASMD82 (Thread starter):
many Boeing 747-100/200/300s are still flying around?

This got me to thinking about something. With fewer and fewer "classic" a/c still in service like the one mentioned by the op (along with707's, DC-10's, etc...) how many qualified pilots and other crew are there to operate said a/c?

Good Day  

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7137 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10117 times:

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 17):
This got me to thinking about something. With fewer and fewer "classic" a/c still in service like the one mentioned by the op (along with707's, DC-10's, etc...) how many qualified pilots and other crew are there to operate said a/c?

Any 744 pilot can fly a Classic with just difference training; I assume pilots can also fill the FE seat. Pilots should not be a problem for quite a while yet.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineUnited_fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7540 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10087 times:

Plus the US Air Force has 2 'Air Force Ones' and at least 1 E4B dooms-day plane.


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlinena From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10817 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10020 times:

This still impressive list contains all current 747 Classic operators, numbering 33, maybe missing one or two:

Atlas Air (742FF, 743F)
Kalitta Air (742F)
Southern Air (742F)
Evergreen (741F, 742F)
USAF ("742")
NASA (SP)
private US (SP)
Las Vegas Sands (SP)
El Al (742F)
Midex Cargo (742F)
PIA (742)
Rayyan Cargo (742F)
Kabo Air (742)
Max Air (743)
Transaero (742, 743)
Veteran Cargo (742F)
Saudi Arabian (742F, 743)
Saudi Government (SP)
Iran AirForce (741)
Iran Air (742, SP)
Mahan Air (743)
Air Bridge (742F, 743F)
Hellenic Imperial (742)
Air Atlanta (742F, 743)
Jett8 (742F)
Air China Cargo (742F)
Cargo Airlines (742F)
Bahrain (SP)
Pratt&Whitney (SP)
Rolls-Royce (742)
General Electric (741, being retired these days)
Syrian Air (SP, being reactivated)
Yemen (SP)

[Edited 2011-07-18 10:57:31]

User currently offline4holer From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 3047 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9902 times:

Quoting na (Reply 20):

Kalitta is only flying the 742F now? I guess that means that they have indeed parked their 741s for good. Bummer.

Edit: Website still lists a single 741 in the fleet, though websites have been known to be incorrect as well!  http://www.kalittaair.com/aircraft.aspx



[Edited 2011-07-18 13:30:40]


Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
User currently onlinekiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8625 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (3 years 5 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9863 times:
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Quoting SFO2SVO (Reply 9):
Quoting kiwiandrew (Reply 5):
I think that they still have 3 or 4 ex NZ -219s, but I am pretty sure that they have been retired from pax service

There are photos of -219 in the DB as late as June, I doubt they will be retired in the middle of tourist season.

Thanks for that, I don't know why I thought they had already been retired. I have some fond memories of those birds so I am pleased to know that some of them are still in service, although I have to wonder for how much longer. When I saw NZ's first 747 arrive back in 1981 I doubt very much whether I would have believed anyone who told me that 30 years later it would still be flying pax, albeit on very different routes from those it was purchased for.



Moderation in all things ... including moderation ;-)
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4780 posts, RR: 19
Reply 23, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9603 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 18):

Any 744 pilot can fly a Classic with just difference training; I assume pilots can also fill the FE seat. Pilots should not be a problem for quite a while yet.

Pilots cannot just 'fill the FE seat' you need a Flight Engineer (Turbojet) rating, and go through a FAA or other Aviation Authority approved B747 FE course and checkride.



Not an easy course.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinelowrider From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 3220 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (3 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9429 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 18):
Any 744 pilot can fly a Classic with just difference training; I assume pilots can also fill the FE seat. Pilots should not be a problem for quite a while yet.

No, the 400 requires a different type rating from the Classic, at least under US rules.

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 18):
Pilots should not be a problem for quite a while yet.

Most fleets run out of airplanes before they run out of pilots.



Proud OOTSK member
25 Flyingsottsman : yes they do not sure if they are still flying their SPs
26 KC135TopBoom : Actually the USAF has 2 VC-25As (mentioned), and 4 E-4Bs, for a total of 6 B-747-CLASSICs. The two VC-25s were among the last B-747-CLASSICs built. T
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